A woman who is obese is more than twice as likely to have a miscarriage as a woman of healthy weight.

Emobileclinic Trending Topic Fertility and overweight

The role of a couple weights on fertility level cannot be underestimated. It is instructive to note that being overweight, especially significantly so can affect the chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby, being underweight could also affects the fertility level as well. 

Who is obese?

One common measure of whether a person is ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ is the body mass index or BMI. This is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres. A healthy BMI is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9. Having a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered ‘overweight’ and a BMI over 30 is considered ‘obese’.

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Being underweight can also reduce a woman’s fertility. It can cause hormone imbalances that affect ovulation and therefore a woman’s chance of getting pregnant. Compared to healthy weight women, underweight women are more than twice as likely to take more than a year to get pregnant. Having a BMI under 18.5 is considered ‘underweight’.

The facts about women, weight and fertility

Obesity affects fertility by causing hormonal imbalances and ovulation problems; obesity is associated with poly-cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of infertility. PCOS is a common hormonal condition especially in infertile women, affecting up to one in five women of reproductive age. Early diagnosis, living a healthy lifestyle and treatment can help optimise fertility.

If a mother is obese, it increases the risk of pregnancy complications and health problems for the baby. 

Risks associated with obesity in pregnancy 

Miscarriage, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, infection, blood clotting, need for induction of labour, caesarean birth and stillbirth.

Babies born to overweight or obese mothers are more likely than those born to healthy-weight mothers to become obese children and adults, and to have more health problems.

For women with diabetes, it is especially important to plan for pregnancy. If possible, it is recommended to review your diabetes and your general health with your doctor, at least three to six months before trying to conceive.

Women who are overweight or obese have less chance of getting pregnant overall. They are also more likely than women of healthy weight to take more than a year to get pregnant.

The risk of pre-eclampsia doubles in overweight women and triples in obese women. Overweight women have twice the risk of gestational (pregnancy-related) diabetes and obese women eight times the risk, compared with women of healthy weight.

A woman who is obese is more than twice as likely to have a miscarriage as a woman of healthy weight. There is twice the risk that her baby will not survive.

Infants born to obese women are more likely to be large for their age, need neonatal intensive care or have a congenital abnormality.

In conclusion, with a healthy eating plan and regular exercise, you will be on your way to a healthy weight. 


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